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School District Faces Legal Trouble for Barring Transgender Student From Locker Room

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Township High School District 211 is receiving heat for its decision to prohibit the use of the women’s locker room by a female transgender student. Despite the threat of lawsuits and loss of funding, the school continues to say that they will only offer transgender students separate-but-equal facilities.

In a statement sent to the community this week, Cates wrote, “After serious and lengthy consideration, the District will continue to provide private accommodations for transgender students to ensure a respectful school environment, and will not allow unrestricted access to its locker rooms as directed by OCR. Likely litigation and enforcement action, including the potential loss of federal education funds, may be imposed by the OCR.”

This response comes after an investigation from the U.S. Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights found the school in violation of the Title IX gender equality law. A female transgender student asked the school to treat her as female, especially when it came to sports and public facilities. While she was allowed to play on girls’ sports teams, she was barred from using the girls’ locker room, and had to use her own bathroom down a hallway. A district spokesman told the Chicago Tribune that transgender students can use the locker room of the sex from which they transitioned—Though that doesn't seem like an option a transgender student would want to take.

An official with the American Civil Liberties Union called the district’s ruling “blatant discrimination, no matter how the district tries to couch it.”


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